Ode to the “Elderly” Baller – Redux

I shared the following with my FB friends on Wednesday. I include it here because it’s easier than writing something new this morning. And, interestingly enough, I’m still recovering. 

Happy Friday, All!

In my youth, I would play a lot of basketball. Often times it was with older men, men UNBELIEVABLY old, like in their 30s and even 40s!

I – and I’m not proud of this – would feel very sorry for them, with their knee braces, their excessive sweating, their tendency to camp out on the perimeter and shoot old man jump shots, or rely on elbow-heavy old man skyhooks in order to get anywhere close to scoring.

I felt sorry for how they would huff and puff. I felt sorry for their almost-audibly-creaking joints and the way they felt like they needed to throw elbows, shoulders and ever-expanding midsections in order to have a chance against young, limber guys like me.

As I sit here tonight, still sweating, having played basketball nearly 10 hours ago with guys much younger than me, as my calf muscles feel shredded, my arms protesting every move, my lungs still on fire, my knees creaking quite audibly, my scoring percentage for the day somewhere around 5%, my shot of choice, as it turns out, the old man camp-out perimeter shot, and my pride lying somewhere in the paint in a park near work, I want to sincerely apologize to those men who have gone before me, whom I secretly pitied.

If we could arrange it, I’d love to buy you coffee, to hear your advice for dealing with the quick young punks, on perfection of the skyhook, on how best to breath when it feels like you just got kicked repeatedly in the neck and chest by an angry kangaroo, and of the best type of orthopedics and pain cream to get a man through another game.

I am you now. And as it turns out, you were pretty great.




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